Treasure or Trouble
A. Terms Used
1. The house of the righteous.
a. The righteous: just; lawful; righteous; right; correct.
b. This is the man who is righteous before God… and as a result, he LIVES righteously.
c. He does things right. He obeys the law. He doesn’t cheat, lie, steal, or deceive.
d. The righteous man will walk in wisdom. He will not cut corners. He will walk in integrity and honesty.
e. Because he is righteous… he will follow the Scriptural principles: he is a diligent worker… a faithful employer or employee… he is honest with his customers… he makes the best product he can make… he doesn’t cut corners, but does things right at work…
f. The righteous man is also self-controlled… temperate in all things.
g. The righteous handles his finances well. He is not a big spender. He doesn’t make big purchases just to show off.
h. A righteous man leads a righteous lifestyle.
2. Much treasure:
a. Defined: riches; treasure; wealth; stored treasure, i.e., valuable material possessions.
b. He not only has treasure, but he has MUCH.
1. All things being equal, those who live righteously normally prosper.
a. Of course, this is a proverb and does not cover every possible situation.
• This proverb does not account for stock market crashes, an extended illness that causes a loss of job; death of a breadwinner; famine, natural disasters, wars; etc… all of which could result in the loss of great wealth… through no fault of the individual.
• This proverb isn’t talking about the exceptions to the rule either (like the crooked mobster who lives in the lap of luxury because of his illegal activities…)
• Very often the wicked seem to prosper in the world.
• So there are many exceptions to the proverb.
b. But all things being equal—two men facing the exact same set of circumstances will have very different results.
• The man who lives righteously will prosper
• The man who does NOT live righteously will not prosper.
2. Consider the way of wisdom:
a. Prov. 3:16 – Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
b. Prov. 8:18 -Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
c. Prov. 8:21 – That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
d. A righteous man follows the way of wisdom… and that way leads to prosperity.
3. Think of how RIGHTEOUSNESS translates into prosperity.
a. He does things right. He obeys the law.
• Therefore, this businessman is not going to waste valuable time in jail… and ruin his business he spent so many years developing! (Like Martha Stewart)
• He is not going to have to pay expensive fines for violating the law… (Companies that pollute; don’t report potential dangers of their products are often sued and lose millions!)
b. He doesn’t cheat, lie, steal, or deceive. He is an honest mechanic.
• Hence, his customers believe him… trust him.
• They also tell their friends: “Finally, I found an honest mechanic!” Your reputation skyrockets… and your business thrives!
• By doing things right… you prosper.
c. The righteous man will not cut corners.
• He will walk in integrity and honesty. This earns him a good reputation which is exceedingly valuable in the business world.
• Doing things right… and making the product right earns your company a good name.
• That good name translates into much business… prosperity.
d. The righteous man follows Scriptural principles:
• Prov. 21:5 – The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness.
» A righteous man plans ahead; thinks ahead; and makes diligent plans.
» That approach usually leads to prosperity.
• Prov. 10:4 – He is a diligent worker…—the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
» A faithful employer or employee…
» He makes the best product he can make…
» He doesn’t cut corners, but does things right at work…
e. The righteous man is also self-controlled… temperate in all things.
• He doesn’t waste his money on alcohol… he has self control.
• He has self-control. He doesn’t throw his money away on gambling.
• He has self-control. He doesn’t waste his money on expensive toys he doesn’t really need and that he can’t afford. Some people can’t control their spending.
• The righteous handles his finances well. He is not a big spender. He doesn’t make big purchases just to show off. He doesn’t spend beyond his means.
• Prov. 21:20 – There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
• Money doesn’t burn a hole in his pocket.
f. A righteous lifestyle leads to prosperity.
• An unrighteous lifestyle leads to poverty and trouble:
4. Consider this proverb in light of spiritual treasures and wealth.
a. Even if a righteous man does NOT increase in earthly riches, this proverb is still true at another level.
b. The home of the poor righteous man may not have expensive trappings, but he has a treasure of another sort: contentment; peace; joy; love; harmony;
c. This is something the prosperous unrighteous man could only dream of! He has wealth, but he can’t enjoy it.
d. Prov. 15:17 – Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
5. God personally BLESSES the homes of the righteous.
a. Prov. 3:33 – he blesseth the habitation of the just.
• God’s blessing is not to be measured in physical blessings alone, but primarily in spiritual blessings; things money can’t buy.
• The ungodly cannot expect such blessing from the Lord, but the righteous man can.
• Again—this blessing is not merely physical… but primarily spiritual.
b. Ps. 112:1-3 – the blessing of the Lord is upon the house and the life of a righteous man.
a. Not only does a righteous man’s behavior tend toward prosperity… he has God’s hand of blessing in his life too… to bless his efforts… and to give increase.
1. Prov. 15:6 – the wicked man (opposite of the righteous man) may bring in lots of revenue.
a. But the revenue of the wicked is accompanied by much trouble.
b. Trouble: to stir up; to trouble; disturb; calamity.
2. Prov. 15:27 – He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house.
a. He may bring in a lot of money… but he brings much trouble with it. It isn’t worth the trouble that it brings!
b. A wicked man’s troubles increase with his riches.
c. Matthew Henry: In the revenues of the wicked, the great incomes they have, there is trouble; for there is guilt and a curse; there is pride and passion, and envy and contention; and those are troublesome lusts, which rob them of the joy of their revenues and make them troublesome to their neighbour.
3. Prov. 15:16 – Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
a. This proverb implies that the great treasure is obtained APART from a fear of the Lord… hence, the trouble.
b. Trouble: tumult; confusion; disquietude; discomfiture; destruction; trouble; vexed.
c. Prov. 10:22 – The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
d. Ecc. 4:6 – Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.